The Irish parliament gave International Consolidated Airlines’ (IAG) bid for Aer Lingus the final go-ahead. Irish MPs voted by 74 votes to 51 in favour of the deal, according to local media reports.
The vote comes after the Irish government agreed to sell its 25 per cent in Aer Lingus to IAG earlier this week, saying that IAG had made “a number of extremely important changes” to its initial offer. Under the deal, IAG agreed to a legally binding commitment to maintain current services between Heathrow and Dublin, Cork and Shannon for at least seven years. Also, Aer Lingus will operate its international passenger services under the Aer Lingus brand and its head office will remain in the Republic of Ireland.
After securing approval from the Irish parliament, IAG must now seek the backing of Aer Lingus’ other major shareholder, Ryanair, to seal the deal. Ryanair, which has 29 per cent of the former flag carrier’s shares, said it would consider the bid once it had received the formal offer document.